Geelong’s pre-season has been given an early boost with five Premiership players committing to new deals ahead of the 2023 AFL season.
Tom Hawkins, Isaac Smith, and Zach Tuohy have all signed one year extensions, while Tom Atkins and Zach Guthrie have both added a further two years to their deals.
Atkins is now contracted until the end of 2025, while Guthrie has been extended until the end of 2024.
The 27-year-old Atkins had a breakout year in 2022 after a shift into the midfield, registering career highs in disposals, tackles, clearances and inside 50s, while Guthrie, 24, played his 50th game in August this year after six seasons at the Club.
Guthrie became a key member of the Cats’ vaunted defensive unit in 2022, where his intercept game, and his run and carry were a feature.
Tom Hawkins kicked 67 goals in 25 games in 2022, his 16th season in the AFL, earning his fifth All-Australian blazer and being awarded the captaincy. His 732 goals places him third all time among Geelong players, and his one year extension places him within five games of Corey Enright for the second most games ever at the Club with his tally currently at 327, and within striking distance of Joel Selwood’s Club record 355 games.
Zach Tuohy has also committed to another year at the Cats, his 13th overall, after playing his 250th game in last month's Grand Final, placing him within just 14 games of the legendary Jim Stynes for the most games played by an Irishman.
Isaac Smith has played 48 games for the Cats since crossing from Hawthorn at the end of the 2020 season for a total of 258 games so far, including a Norm Smith Medal winning performance in the 2022 AFL Grand Final against Sydney.
Geelong General Manager of Football, Simon Lloyd said the signings demonstrate the strong balance between young talent and experience on the Cats’ list.
“We are thrilled that all five of these players have re-committed to our football program for next season and beyond,” Lloyd said.
“Players like Tom Atkins and Zach Guthrie are key pillars of our medium to long term future, and as we saw this year, both players demonstrated a drive and a determination to keep improving, which has been a feature of both of their careers since they arrived at the Club. Both Tom and Zach also contribute significantly off-field to the fabric of Geelong with the quality of their leadership and character.
“Zach and Isaac, among a long list of players at our Club, are key reasons why we have been able to achieve what we have this year. Both are experienced big-game players on the field and they drive standards across the Club off of it, but equally, they are exceptional people who we are very proud to call Geelong players.
“Hawk has achieved so much in his career over such a long period of time, and it is a tribute to his hard work and dedication that he continues to get better each and every year he plays the game.
“More importantly, Tom’s care and selfless nature for his teammates makes us a stronger Club. It’s incredible to think that after 327 games and 732 goals, Tom continues to impact and influence games, and we are proud to have him continue to wear the hoops into next season.”